LGBT Detroit purchases building in northwest Detroit

LGBT Detroit, a nonprofit serving the area’s gay and lesbian community, has purchased a commercial space on the city’s northwest side, becoming the first Black-focused LGBT nonprofit in the country to operate within its own space.

“No one has ever done it,” Curtis Lipscomb, LGBT Detroit’s executive director, reveals to BLAC over breakfast on Monday. “My New York friends are bouncing off the walls. They thought they’d be the first to do it.”

The organization is currently housed in a rented space on Burroughs Street in  Midtown, but will move to the new space on Greenfield Road between Seven and Eight Mile roads over the summer. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected in July – hopefully during the events of Hotter Than July, a weekend celebrating Black gay pride in Detroit, Lipscomb says – and full operations expect to be up and running in August.

Lipscomb says the organization had long wanted to own its own space and initially considered remaining in Midtown, but was concerned about future affordability in the rapidly developing neighborhood. After a two-year citywide site search, the organization settled on the Greenfield Road location.

The location is key because of its proximity to major thoroughfares like Eight Mile Road and the Lodge Freeway, as well as being on several bus lines; Lipscomb notes that the Detroit Department of Transportation’s Northland transit center is not too far away. But Lipscomb, who lives nearby, also notes that he wanted LGBT Detroit to be part of a northwest Detroit renaissance.


“There are businesses up and down there,” Lipscomb says about the Greenfield-Eight Mile corridor. “And we’re looking at renting out some of the spaces we have – there is interest from our neighbors. These are my neighbors.”

The Midtown location, Lipscomb says, is convenient but too small for the organization’s operations. For example, there is one space for HIV testing station in the current space, but the future space has four. LGBT Detroit plans to have a Midtown presence with continued programming in the area, but its home base will be on Greenfield.

Lipscomb also notes that this is not a plan to jump-start a so-called gayborhood in the area, but to “celebrate the neighborhoods and the gay people that live in them.”

A crowdfunding campaign is in the works to complete renovations on the space. For more information on LGBT Detroit, visit

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